You never quite know what to expect when you visit a new hotel. Pat and I were delighted to attend the re-launch of The Crown at sleepy High Newton. Graham and Amanda Kennedy transformed the boarded-up relic into a boutique hotel without losing its village pub charm.
A major overhaul has produced seven luxury bedrooms, stylishly furnished with modern facilities such as wall mounted TVs and rain showers. They are welcoming and vary in size and price.
New chef Crawford Campbell designed two menus. The pub has traditional classics such as steak and ale pie and haddock and chips. But the restaurant is where The Crown plans to achieve status as a leading fine dining experience in the Lake District.
Crawford: “We’re keeping a relaxing atmosphere in the restaurant which works with our clientele but we are introducing high cuisine. The menu changes regularly to include seasonal items such as pheasant, venison and haggis. I’m also using flavours that people may not be familiar with. I want to turn The Crown into a place that everyone talks about and wants to visit.”
Pat and I were offered tasters of these dishes and what treats they were: Arbroath Smokey Fishcakes, Norwegian Haddock, Cartmel Venison, Gressingham Duck, Sea Bass, Lamb Shank, Risotto and more. (I was astonished to find my all-time, favourite soup Cullen Skink – a Scottish delight no doubt perfected during Crawford’s time at a Michelin-starred-Gleneagles restaurant.)
New manager Lesley Butler gave us an accommodation tour (don’t you just love peeking into other people’s bedrooms) and we dearly wished we were staying the night.
High Newton has been bypassed so The Crown is quiet away from the traffic. It has origins as a 17th century coaching house. Behind is Cartmel Fell with spectacular views - an ideal place to walk off a few calories.
The Crown retains a country pub feel with flag floors, roaring log fires and oak beams. There is even Henry – the resident ghost! He prefers a particular chair but the new owners don't know which one so be careful not to sit on his knee. The locals round the evening bar can tell you spooky stories of Henry roaming the Inn. The bar stocks local real ales from Hawkshead and Coniston breweries. There are lagers, spirits and a superb collection of wines and juices.
Windermere and Furness are a few minutes away. Also close by is Victorian seaside resort Grange Over Sands, Historic Ulverston and Cartmel Village, famous for its racecourse.
So if it’s a lovely Lakeland village you’re after then this is for you. And don’t be surprised if your expectations turn out to be greater than you thought they would be. Ours were!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC